London noodle restaurant Koya launched a new delivery platform, Koya Mail, during the first national lockdown, which continues to operate. Featuring the restaurant’s two key ingredients, fresh dashi broth and thick udon noodles, the Koya Mail kits are available for nationwide delivery, with the Omiyage boxes containing enough for two generous portions. The base noodles and broths are also highly adaptable, with a new set of recipes shared by the restaurant each month. The Koya kenchinjiru udon recipe, for instance, features a selection of root vegetables such as carrot, daikon, leek and squash, also loaded with fried tofu, sake, and dried shiitake mushrooms. The vegetables are fried in a splash of sesame oil, followed by the tofu and mushrooms which are cooked alongside the noodles. It’s then all poured into a bowl with the warm dashi.
“There seems to be a version of ‘hearty root vegetables in broth’ in every culture, and when your heart is set on eating it, there’s really nothing else that can replace it. Here’s a version that appears on our specials boards when the days are icy cold, to warm your heart and body. At the restaurants, we like to cook the vegetables until tender and crumbly.”
- 1 Koya Mail Omiyage box vegan
- 2 dried shiitake mushrooms
- 1 tbsp roasted sesame oil
- ½ carrot
- 50 g daikon
- 120 g kabocha squash
- 1 sheet/ 40g fried tofu (usu-age) *This can be bought from most Japanese or Chinese supermarkets
- ½ leek
- ½ tbsp soy sauce
- ½ tbsp sake
- Spring onion optional
- Soak the dried shiitake mushrooms in 200ml of water overnight. When you are ready to cook, take the shiitake out, cut them into quarters and keep both the shiitake water and shiitake for later.
- In the meantime, peel and dice the carrot, daikon, kabocha and leek into bite-sized pieces.
- Place the fried tofu in a colander and pour over boiling water from the kettle to drain the excess oil before slicing it into 1 cm strips.
- In a medium saucepan, heat up the roasted sesame oil and fry the carrots, daikon and kabocha for 5 minutes. Then add the fried tofu, shiitake and leek and fry it for another 5 minutes. This is a good moment to start cooking the udon, complete instructions are on your other card. To finish off your vegetables, add the dashi, water from shiitake, soy sauce and sake and simmer until the vegetables are tender.
- Once the udon have been cooked as per the instructions, divide into bowls and pour the dashi and vegetables over. You can garnish with spring onion if you like.
This article was updated on Wednesday 23rd March, 2022.